The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has joined Tristan Broussard’s suit against his former employer, First Tower Loan, LLC. First Tower forced Mr. Broussard to choose between living openly as a transgendered man or having a job because Mr. Broussard’s driver’s license still listed him as female. Mr. Broussard excelled at his duties and surpassed his employer’s expectations, but the bigots could not get past their transphobia.
As promised, I’ve been following the case of Tristan Broussard, a transgender man fired from a job at which he excelled because the company was transphobic. Mr. Broussard filed suit earlier this year against First Tower Loan LLC. I’m happy to report that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – EEOC joined Tristan Broussard’s trans discrimination suit.
Despite the fact that Mr. Broussard out-performed his boss’ expectations given the short time he was on the job, he was told he needed to dress and act like a woman. Mr. Broussard hadn’t yet had his driver’s license updated to reflect his change of gender. Rather than discuss the issue or wait for a driver’s license change to be completed, the company gave Mr. Broussard a choice:
Present as a female, in dress and behavior, or you’re fired.
First Tower, a loan company headquartered in Flowood, Mississippi, has locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana. Mr. Broussard was employed at the Lake Charles, Louisiana branch until March 2013.
The EEOC advised First Tower of the wrongful discharge as part of Mr. Broussard’s original complaint. However, the advice fell on deaf, transphobic ears. This prompted Mr. Broussard to file suit. He is seeking undisclosed damages from First Tower, whose attorney refused comment.
One believes that First Tower will soon learn the error of its ways. The EEOC has leant its considerable authority to Mr. Broussard’s cause by joining his suit in federal court. It is the EEOC’s opinion that First Tower sexually discriminated against Mr. Broussard on the issue of gender, something expressly forbidden by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. U.S. courts and the EEOC have both previously held that employers can neither fire nor refuse to hire based on the employee being transgender.
As before, I wish this brave young man all the best in his pursuit of justice. I sincerely hope that the addition of the EEOC in the suit will be of great help to him. Look for more on this story as it becomes available.